Things to do in Dharchula | A Complete Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  1. About Dharchula
  2. Things to Do in Dharchula
  3. How to Plan a Trip to Dharchula
  4. Hotels and Resorts in Dharchula

About Dharchula

Dharchula

Dharchula is a charming hill town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The settlement is essentially a part of the Kumaon region, surrounded by the Himalayan peaks and the Kali River cutting through it, dividing the town into two parts, with one half in India and the other half in Nepal. Both sides are connected by a bridge across the Kali River. Nestled in the lush mountain valley, with ancient culture, it makes for a very attractive destination for naturalists, spiritualists, and mountain lovers.

With our travel guide, you can plan an all-rounded trip to this exquisite place and explore attractions.

Location

Dharchula

Dharchula lies 92KM from the Pithoragarh town and serves as a major pitstop for pilgrims en route to Kailash-Mansarovar and Chhota Kailash tours.

Weather

Dharchula weather is similar to that of other mountain plains. Summers are warm and sunny but winters are cold and chilly. There’s also occasional snowfall in the region, depending on the temperature. During the monsoon, there’s also heavy rainfall here, sometimes causing floods and landslides.

History

 History of Dharchula

The history of Dharchula is connected to that of Pithoragarh and goes all the way to the Katyuri Dynasty. The town was once a trading stop on the Trans-Himalayan routes and was known for its local handcrafted goods like carpets. Post the Indo-China War of 1962, when trading with Tibet stopped, the region evolved as an important agricultural and farming zone, which led to an influx of tourism and became the place we know it to be today.

Geography

Kali River

Dharchula sits on the Kali River, at an elevation of 3000+ feet, in the Kumaon Region. The town is surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, you can see the snowy Panchachuli Peak on the west, and Om Parvat on the east. which separates the Johar Valley and the Byans Valley. offers a panoramic view of the mighty Panchachuli peak to its west and falls on several trekking routes.

Interesting Facts about Dharchula

The name of the town is derived from Dharchyo-La which refers to the region’s traditional holy flag that hangs outside local houses. In earlier times, these white flags would be visible by travellers from far away and that’s how they could recognize the town.

Things to do in Dharchula 

Dharchula

Include these fun and exciting activities in your sightseeing –

Offbeat Things to do in Dharchula

You can attend the unique local Kangdali festival, which is held here once in 12 years.

Adventurous Things to do in Dharchula

  • You can sign up for different kinds of treks, varying from basic, low-intensity local treks, to high-altitude, difficult treks, depending on your skills.
  • You can do forest bathing in the lush alpine forests and connect with nature.
  • Try river rafting or other water sports like kayaking, waterskiing, etc. in the Kali or Gori Rivers. Check with local tour guides for seasonal options.
  • You can also try camping in some places that offer tenting options on riversides.

Things to Do in Dharchula in Summer

  • Go for mountain biking or cycling from sunrise to sunset around the district.
  • Summer is the best season to walk around the villages and do forest walks.

Things to do in Dharchula in Winter

  • There are glacier treks available for only pro-trekkers.

Places to visit in Dharchula

With scenic landscape and vibrant local culture, there are so many things to do and places to see. Check out these famous places on your trip –

Narayan Ashram, Dharchula, Pithoragarh
Narayan Ashram
  • Jauljibi: Stretching across the Kali and Gori Rivers, Jauljibi is a small marketplace but the most popular in the region. Sitting on the India-Nepal border, this is a hub of trade and also the site for the annual trade fair, held every November.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Narayan Swami Ashram: A social, spiritual, and educational centre, this ashram sits at 44KM from Dharchula town and was established by Narayan Swami. It has a school, library, and meditation centre for local children
  • Entry Fee- NA
  • Chirkila/Dhauliganga Dam: Built on the Kali River, this dam is a major hydel power project for the region and supplies more than 15000KW of energy to neighbouring districts. The dam area is perfect for day treks, picnics, photography etc.  
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary: A high-altitude wildlife sanctuary, Askot was established in 1986 and is known as a habitat of musk deer. But you can also find snow leopards, black bears, Himalayan jungle cats, civets, bison, lemurs, monal birds, and other endangered species of flora and fauna.
  • Entry Fee- NA
  • Om Parvat: One of the most sought-after tourist destinations here, this magnificent Himalayan peak sits above 18000+ feet and is considered to be a gem of the Kumaon Himalayas. In winters it is often covered in snow, making an “OM” symbol on top.
  • Entry Fee– NA

Places to visit near Dharchula

Besides the regular tourist places, you can also explore other scenic locales nearby –

  • Pithoragarh: The easternmost district of Uttarakhand, and the third-largest town of the Kumaon region, Pithoragarh is the starting point of famous treks to Milam Glacier and Darma Valley.
  • Entry Fee- NA
  • Munsiyari: Another scenic Himayalan hamlet, Munsiyari serves as a basecamp for Nanda Devi Trek. One of the most famous local treks here is to the Khaliya top. With endless views of snowy mountain peaks and lush valleys, it is often called Little Kashmir.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Mansarovar Lake: A high-altitude glacial lake, this is the region where the Sutlet, Brahmaputra, Indus, and Karnali Rivers originate from. The lake site is also a major pilgrimage destination for India, Nepal, and Tibet. Pilgrims of the annual Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra do ceremonial bathing in the waters.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Patal Bhuvaneswar: An ancient limestone cave temple located in the Pithoragarh district, Patal Bhuvaneswar is a mysterious religious site. It is dedicated to Shiva and 33 other demigods and is a major pilgrimage destination.
  • Entry Fee– NA

Places to eat in Dharchula 

Explore these best-rated local eateries –

  • Rawat Restaurant
  • Gurkha Kitchen
  • The Haat Café and Restro
  • Soar Café and Restaurant
  • Bhim Dhaba

How to Plan a Trip to Dharchula

You can also plan a personalized trip by selecting the mode of transport, the route, and more.

How to reach Dharchula

Bangabagad, From Dharchula, Uttarakhand, India

By Train

There is no railway station here per se. The nearest railway junction is at Tanakpur, 240KM away. There are regular trains from other major cities and towns in Uttarakhand and neighbouring states to Tanakpur. From there, you can take the local bus or book a cab to reach Dharchula.

By Road

Dharchula is well-connected via NH9 to major towns and cities in Uttarakhand and other parts of northern India like Tanakpur, Almora, Moradabad, Haldwani, Dehradun, Muzzafarnagar, New Delhi, Noida, etc. There are regular state-run and private buses from these places to Pithoragarh. From there you can take the local cab or rent a car to reach Dharchula.

By Flight

There is no flight service in Darchula. The nearest airport is in Pantnagar, about 336KM away. The best way to reach Darchula from anywhere in Uttarakhand is to take the train to Tanakpur.

Best time to visit Dharchula

Weather Dharchula

Considering the harsh weather patterns, the best time to visit Dharchula is either in summer or before winter, that is between March and June and September and December. However, if you like the chilly weather, November to February is also a good time. It is advisable to avoid the rainy season since heavy rains can cause landslides and roadblocks.

Hotels and Resorts in Dharchula

Check out these best-rated places to stay in and around Dharchula –

  • KMVN Manas Hotel
  • Satkar Hotel & Restaurant
  • Askotias Himalayan Guest House
  • Himtop Hotel
  • Hotel New Yash Dharchula

Witness the beauty of Dharchula by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.  

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Things to do in Dharchula | A Complete Travel Guide
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Things to do in Dharchula | A Complete Travel Guide
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Dharchula is a charming hill town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Nestled in the lush mountain valley, with ancient culture, it makes for a very attractive destination for naturalists, spiritualists, and mountain lovers.
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I grew up sneaking away to read the well-worn travel magazines I found at my grandfather's house. Today I write stories of my travel experiences and adventures.

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